KAISER CHIEFS + RAZORLIGHT + LIFE – BRIGHTON CENTRE 30.01.20
Roll up! Roll up! for the greatest show in town … a sensational magical show to delight the senses!
The pre-set fairground music played during the interval gave us a clue to the treat that lay in store for the sold-out Brighton Centre audience on this dreary January evening.
After a brief hiatus, the Kaiser Chiefs are back with a new album, ‘Duck’, their seventh studio album released on 26th July 2019 on their original label (Polydor) and tonight’s date was part of the supporting album 9-date UK tour, which kicked off in Hull nine days ago. Although the album was initially first promoted by a hometown concert at Elland Road on 8th June 2019 to commemorate 100 years of Leeds United F.C.
The curtains opened at 9:09pm to reveal the band replete with instruments on the roof of a replica duck house, which was a very good copy of the one found on the cover of the ‘Duck’ album.
They wasted no time launching straight into their opening two numbers ‘People Know How To Love One Another’ (their last single) and ‘Golden Oldies’ (both from UK hit album ‘Duck’), thus setting the tone for fast-paced, slick, energetic and colourful show which had everything you can imagine including giant confetti, stick men, streamers, cannon blasts and of course, some top tunes! We even had “Rory from Brighton” (Rag‘n’Bone Man) make an appearance at the ‘hook a duck’ stand set up by the sound desk, successfully hooking said duck and winning a prize!
Tonight, the full capacity crowd was witnessing the sound of one of the most successful British guitar bands of the millennium, who were seriously reclaiming their creative swagger. Can you believe it, but the guys have been on the case for 20 years now, if you count previous incarnation Parva. Where has the time gone?
Despite entertaining the masses for two decades, four of the original five members are still here with us this evening, with only drummer Nick Hodgson missing, having put in a dozen year stint. Clearly this is a compact unit with positive DNA “It’s more exciting than it’s ever been,” says frontman Ricky Wilson. “Every time there’s a big obstacle, it just gets blown away in the wind like a dandelion. We’re still selling out arenas but under the radar. We can make albums forever.”
The show this evening was a kaleidoscopic affair with more than a touch of showbiz glitz. One would expect nothing less from a former coach of The Voice UK who clearly knows how to entertain an audience. We had a live camera feed, so people had the choice of watching the physical quintet or watching them on the giant screen which was tantalisingly revealed piece-by-piece after a couple of tunes.
After a blistering start to the show, the energetic Wilson dashed almost unnoticed from the stage between songs to appear at a platform in the audience to sing a new track from the album ‘Target Market’ which I have to say was rather good.
The ‘Duck’ Fayre continued and we were served half a dozen tunes from the latest platter in total, my pick of the tracks being ‘Record Collection’ with its pumping dance-like beat.
‘Everyday I Love You Less and Less’ half way through the 20 track set heralded the start of a gear-shift as the band proceeded to roll out their hefty back catalogue and you certainly got the impression that this is exactly what the already excitable audience came for. Classics like ‘Ruby’, ‘Modern World’, ‘The Angry Mob’ and ‘Oh My God’ were greeted like old friends with rapturous scenes.
Wilson is a charismatic performer with great stage presence who naturally draws the eye although his accomplished band were worthy of equal praise.
By the time ‘Never Miss A Beat’ was unleashed, the majority of those people in the balconies were up on their feet. My only slight criticism (if there were to be one) is that ‘I Predict a Riot’ would have been ideal as the final track of the encore to draw the performance to a concluding crescendo.
At 10:40pm on the dot, they were done and the largest amount of ticker tape confetti that I have ever seen, was unleashed onto the downstairs crowd. It was a most enjoyable 91 minute set. One which I know many of those punters present will be discussing for many years to come! Without doubt, the Kaiser Chiefs certainly hit their ‘Target Market’.
Kaiser Chiefs are:
Ricky Wilson – Vox
Andrew “Whitey” White – Guitar
Simon Rix – Bass
Nick “Peanut” Baines – Keyboards
Vijay Mistry – Drums
Kaiser Chiefs setlist reads:
‘People Know How To Love One Another’ (found on 2019 ‘Duck’ album)
‘Golden Oldies’ (found on 2019 ‘Duck’ album)
‘Na Na Na Na Naa’ (found on 2005 ‘Employment’ album)
‘Everything Is Average Nowadays’ (found on 2007 ‘Yours Truly, Angry Mob’ album)
‘The Factory Gates’ (found on 2014 ‘Education, Education, Education & War’ album)
‘Parachute’ (found on 2016 ‘Stay Together’ album)
‘Target Market’ (found on 2019 ‘Duck’ album)
‘Good Days Bad Days’ (found on 2008 ‘Off With Their Heads’ album)
“(Hook A Duck, Hooked by Rag N Bone Man)”
‘Coming Home’ (found on 2014 ‘Education, Education, Education & War’ album)
‘Northern Holiday’ (found on 2019 ‘Duck’ album)
‘Everyday I Love You Less And Less’ (found on 2005 ‘Employment’ album)
‘Ruby’ (found on 2007 ‘Yours Truly, Angry Mob’ album)
‘Modern Way’ (found on 2005 ‘Employment’ album)
‘Don’t Just Stand There, Do Something’ (found on 2019 ‘Duck’ album)
‘Never Miss A Beat’ (found on 2008 ‘Off With Their Heads’ album)
‘I Predict A Riot’ (found on 2005 ‘Employment’ album)
‘The Angry Mob’ (found on 2007 ‘Yours Truly, Angry Mob’ album)
‘Record Collection’ (found on 2019 ‘Duck’ album)
‘Hole In My Soul’ (found on 2016 ‘Stay Together’ album)
‘Oh My God’ (found on 2005 ‘Employment’ album)
First band up this evening were LIFE, and as my colleague at Brighton & Hove News had recently reviewed them at the Green Door Store in Brighton on 11th November, I had a strong inkling as to what was going to be in store this evening from Hull’s finest new export. Read our review HERE.
LIFE are an exciting quartet featuring vocalist Mez, his best friend Stew on drums, along with his brother Mick on guitar, and most recent addition Lydia on bass. They have played in Sussex prior to their Green Door Store performance, with one milestone being flagged up when they supported Slaves at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on 10th November 2016. Clearly this is an act moving in the right circles.
LIFE took to the Brighton Centre stage this evening at 6:50pm, which was impossibly early for a vast majority of tonight’s punters to adhere to, unless they were working very locally or had the day off work. The result, a sparse concert hall of around a tenth of what it should have been for this terrific act. Thankfully we were in place and ready to enjoy their nine track set.
From the first few bars, it was evident that this is an act that whereby you could take the best bits of The Fall and IDLES and combine them into a modern take on early 1980’s post-punk. Mez’s vocals on opener ‘Good Health’ could have easily have been uttered by the sadly missed Mark E. Smith, whereas Stew’s drumming could have been cloned from Jon Beavis (IDLES stixman).
Mez’s dance moves are often unpredictable in an Ian Curtis (Joy Division) and Andy McCluskey (OMD) way, but your eyes are drawn to him, until you hear the meaty bass notes emanating from Lydia’s instrument and one switches across to her (stage left/our right).
We had a topical Brexit track ‘Euromillions’, which started rather similar to Spizzenergi’s ‘Where’s Captain Kirk?’ but slower. The lyrics “You have the right to bear arms if you’ve got the right coloured arms”, made me chuckle in a Monty Python absurd way. Whether it was supposed to or not, I seriously doubt it and i’m sure the connotations were of a more serious nature.
This was followed by ‘Never Love Again’, which Mez proudly stated from the onset that he did. At the start of the following number ‘Popular Music’, Mez started “T-t-t-t” and I was momentarily he was going to say “T-t-t-t Totally Wired”, as in The Fall track. The penultimate corker ‘Moral Fibre’, was possibly my fave of theirs. I thought he was saying “P*ss hands”, which was amusing, but I think it’s actually “P*ssants, Whoo, P*ssant, Whoo”.
For their final number Mez proudly announced that he was a single parent and they launched into ‘Half Pint Fatherhood’ and then they were gone. They could have played a tad longer if they were allowed to as there was a fair wait to see the special support act Razorlight.
LIFE are heading back on tour in April, but sadly there is no Brighton date listed.
Mez – Vox
Lydia – Bass
Mick – Guitar
Stew – Drums
Life setlist reads:
‘Good Health’ (found on 2019 ‘A Picture Of Good Health’ album)
‘Excites Me’ (found on 2019 ‘A Picture Of Good Health’ album)
‘Hollow Thing’ (found on 2019 ‘A Picture Of Good Health’ album)
‘Euromillions’ (found on 2017 ‘Popular Music’ album)
‘Never Love Again’ (found on 2019 ‘A Picture Of Good Health’ album)
‘Bum Hour’ (found on 2019 ‘A Picture Of Good Health’ album)
‘Popular Music’ (found on 2017 ‘Popular Music’ album)
‘Moral Fibre’ (found on 2019 ‘A Picture Of Good Health’ album)
‘Half Pint Fatherhood’ (found on 2019 ‘A Picture Of Good Health’ album)
Find out more at www.lifeband.co.uk
It was now 7:50pm and time for the Razorlight quintet to grace the cavernous Brighton Centre stage and to perform a no nonsense 13 track set.
The venue was now virtually full and clearly there were hundreds of fans in specially to see Razorlight do their stuff. On that note, the fans attending represented a huge spectrum of ages from about 7 to 70, a real family affair and good to see.
Razorlight had initially founded way back in 2002 and by 2014 had called it a day, but only for a three year hiatus, as the name was back, if not with many original founding members, but at least the frontman with that distinctive piercing voice, Johnny Borrell, and guitarist Björn Ågren are still on the case.
Judging by the loud applause tonight, Razorlight are still on top of their game! As they work their way, effortlessly through their soft indie rock tunes, you suddenly realise just how many radio friendly hit singles they have actually had. No less than 9 of this evening’s 13 song set were chart-busters, with the highest one’s being (final number of the night) ‘America’ (No.1 in 2006), ‘Somewhere Else’ (No.2 in 2005), ‘In The Morning’ (No.3 in 2006), and ‘Golden Touch’ (No.9 in 2004). The latter being the fourth number in their set and the one where the audience participation certainly kicked in. Mind you having said that, track 2 ‘In My Morning’ was as pleasant airing.
Clearly Razorlight can still be regularly heard on Radio 2 and many independent radio stations across the land, due to the nature of their sound and all the punters gathered tonight will no doubt have mainly opted for the top hits, but me personally, I would like to flag up ‘Vice’ (found on 2003 ‘Up All Night’ album) as it was heavier and this version could have sat very nicely with a set from The Stooges back in the day. I wanted more of their tracks to sound like this. Their second best for me was their 2003 Top 20 single ‘Rip It Up’ with (this evening) with it’s almost surf-guitar like overtones.
Clearly this band are accomplished musicians, but for me I would have preferred Reni’s Roland keyboard to be higher in the mix. The only time we really clearly heard keyboards was on their penultimate number ‘Somewhere Else’ (found on 2005 re-release ‘Up All Night’ album), when Björn was on second keyboard.
They had rattled through their tracks and it was time for the world and his wife to get out their mobile phones and grab their memento of ‘America’ for prosperity. A hit-filled set that people enjoyed.
Johnny Borrell – Vox/Guitar
Björn Ågren – Guitar
Reni Lane – Keyboards
Ben Ellis – Bass
Mat Hector – Drums
Razorlight setlist reads:
‘Back To The Start’ (found on 2006 ‘Razorlight’ album)
‘In The Morning’ (found on 2006 ‘Razorlight’ album)
‘Stumble And Fall’ (found on 2003 ‘Up All Night’ album)
‘Golden Touch’ (found on 2003 ‘Up All Night’ album)
‘Carry Yourself’ (found on 2018 ‘Olympus Sleeping’ album)
‘Vice’ (found on 2003 ‘Up All Night’ album)
‘I Can’t Stop This Feeling I’ve Got’ (found on 2006 ‘Razorlight’ album)
‘In The City’ (found on 2003 ‘Up All Night’ album)
‘Rip It Up’ (found on 2003 ‘Up All Night’ album)
‘Before I Fall To Pieces’ (found on 2006 ‘Razorlight’ album)
‘(Don’t Go Back To) Dalston’ (found on 2003 ‘Up All Night’ album)
‘Somewhere Else’ (found on 2005 re-release ‘Up All Night’ album)
‘America’ (found on 2006 ‘Razorlight’ album)
Find out more at www.razorlightofficial.com
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